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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Glenn Ford Signs Off
Just read on the BBC News that Canadian-born actor Glenn Ford has been found dead at the age of 90.

I don't want this to become an obit column, but it does seem like we're losing an awful lot of great character actors lately. Ford was one of the few survivors of classic Hollywood: great professionals who arrived on a set prepared and cheerful, ready to go through the motions and give the director what they were hired to give. We're losing a whole generation without realizing it... but I guess they're all getting on in years.

Like many young people, I'll always remember Ford for his role as Pa Kent in Richard Donner's original Superman (his photo can be spied on Eva Marie Saint's mantle in this summer's Superman Returns). He only has two scenes, but he made an impression. Particularly the scene in which he imparts his last piece of advice to his son (soon to become Superman), Ford's simple honesty shines. It's the kind of scene that you don't understand at 10, that you fast-forward through at 15, that you forget at 20 and by 30 you're lingering over it.

"You are here for a reason," he says in his easy, wise way, "I don't know whose reason, or what the reason is. Maybe it's.... well, I'll tell you one thing, it isn't to score touchdowns." It's not Polonius, but it's close.

I know that Ford had a long and distinguished career, but you could do a lot worse than being remembered as a good father.
:: posted by Ian Dawe, 8/31/2006 Comments (4)
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Farewell Bruno Kirby
Today we lost one of the great character actors of the last 30 years, Bruno Kirby, after a long illness. Kirby's work in The Godfather, Part II, Good Morning Vietnam ("Oh, Lt. Steve!"), City Slickers, and This is Spinal Tap ("This is a fad!") will earn him a special place in the memories of many film fans. Without good character actors, the screen would be filled with stars and wannabe stars, which is why I have such affection for them. They bring colour and life to what could be a screen full of egos. We don't seem to appreciate them until they're gone.

Via don Dios, Bruno.
:: posted by Ian Dawe, 8/16/2006 Comments (0)
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Danny Boyle's Sunshine

Danny Boyle's new science fiction film Sunshine sure looks promising, although it appears to tread on some familiar territory. Hopefully it turns out to be more Solaris than Supernova.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 8/13/2006 Comments (2)
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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oh, God...
I recently watched the trailer for the upcoming film cleverly titled The Nativity Story and was suddenly overcome with the now-familiar fear that North American culture is drifting towards becoming a medieval theocratic nation/state. Another story about Jesus, told complete with Middle-eastern music and majestic cinematography making claims to be "historically accurate". If things keep going this way, pretty soon that's all we'll be allowed to see. Yes, I'm aware that the Director, Catherine Hardwicke, has a track record that does not necessarily oblige this film to be the next Passion, but come on. Aren't we as a society capable of producing more than gussied-up Sunday school stories? Heck - even Superman Returns had pretty seriously Christian overtones, on a different scale entirely from Donner's original film.

God help us all.
:: posted by Ian Dawe, 8/03/2006 Comments (12)
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